Friday 3 October 2014

The Legend of Hercules

Oh dear, Summit Entertainment. Oh dear, Millennium Films. Oh dear, director Renny Harlin. I suspected the worst when I saw adverts for The Legend of Hercules plastered on the sides of London buses earlier in the year, and noticed the quotes weren’t attributed to anyone – it’s not a good sign when you can’t even get the Daily Star Sunday to pretend to like your film, after all. But nothing could’ve prepared me for the experience of actually watching it.

The film is set in Argos – the Greek city, not the catalogue shop – and does a half-assed job of retelling the ancient Greek story of Hercules. The gist of it is this: King Amphitryon defeats King Galenus and takes over his kingdom. Amphitryon’s estranged wife, Louise from Hollyoaks, is disgusted by this and does some really gross cry-acting all over the place. This, in turn, disgusts the goddess Hera, who basically comes down to Earth and says, “Right, if I babby you up with Zeus’s son, will that shut you up? He’ll probably stop your husband or whatever.” Louise from Hollyoaks agrees and gives birth to Hercules, who grows up to become the handsome but ultimately useless Hollywood heartthrob Kellan Lutz. Then there’s a string of boring fight scenes, a rushed ending, and some credits.

Look, don’t get me wrong. Hollyoaks certainly has its place in the world, and occasionally its young cast members manage to squeeze out some decent acting. But when one pops up in a Hollywood movie and manages to act everyone else under the table, you know something has gone horribly wrong. Not that anyone stood a chance with writing this bad – somehow, every single line manages to be overly flowery AND soul-crushingly boring, which makes following the already-uninteresting story even more difficult.

And the dubbing – oh, god, the dubbing! Somehow they’ve taken a film that was recorded in English and dubbed over in English, and made it look like the sort of foreign film you might pick out of the bargain bin in a charity shop. Or just “pick out of the bin”, because I expect that’s where most copies of this movie will end up. The characters’ mouths rarely move in time with what they’re saying – heck, sometimes they don’t even move at all. At least all the speech is super-clear, though, right? Ha, no, I’m kidding. Imagine a film where the actors manage to slur every single line of dialogue, and then muffle it a bit, and you’ll be somewhere close to the experience of watching this movie.

I never thought anything could be worthless enough for me to give it a score of zero, and yet I can’t think of anything this film does well enough to earn itself a point. Poorly written, poorly acted, and poorly put together, The Legend of Hercules isn’t even “so bad it’s funny”. It’s just… nothing.

0/5 it is, then. Do whatever you have to do to avoid seeing this film, even if that means watching Hollyoaks instead.


Mike Lee

The Legend of Hercules at CeX

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